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Castel Gandolfo

Day trips

Our most recommended Castel Gandolfo Day Trips

From Rome: Castel Gandolfo Kayak and Swimming Lake Tour

1. From Rome: Castel Gandolfo Kayak and Swimming Lake Tour

Immerse yourself in the history and nature of this peaceful lake, located just a short distance from Rome, on a kayak tour with plenty of interesting stops and technical kayaking tips. After a quick paddling, navigation and communication lesson, you will begin your tour of the lake. Stops will include the village of the millstones, the Roman port of the Villa of Domitian, the Trampoline of the Pope, and a beautiful beach reachable only by kayak, where you can swim if the weather is right. Along the way you will see the summer residence of the Popes, atop the mountain of Castel Gandolfo and surrounded by untouched nature. You can Listen to the sound of local wildlife and the water lapping, a unique and unforgettable experience so close to Rome. Your guide will provide technical assistance throughout the tour, and offer stories and anecdotes about the lake. After arriving back at the starting point, you will have the opportunity to take a shower before heading back to the capital.

Castel Gandolfo: Pope’s Private Palaces & Barberini Gardens

2. Castel Gandolfo: Pope’s Private Palaces & Barberini Gardens

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city to the tranquil Castel Gandolfo where you can follow in the pope’s footsteps. Start off at the Apostolic Palace, pick up your complimentary audio guide, and get ready for a sneak peek into the lives of the popes at their traditional vacation retreat.  Experience the intricate work of the clergy up close as you pass by historical papal gowns and the pope’s portable throne. Explore the pope’s private apartment and enjoy sweeping panoramic views from his hill-top home. Next, visit the Barberini Gardens. Explore the luxurious gardens from the comfort of an air-conditioned minibus. Uncover the history of this unique site with a complimentary audio guide, available in a multitude of languages. Enhance your experience by selecting the full-day option and enjoy a guided tour.

Sistine Chapel, Vatican Gardens & Castel Gandolfo Day Tour

3. Sistine Chapel, Vatican Gardens & Castel Gandolfo Day Tour

Start your day bright and early as you meet your tour guide at the Vatican Museums. Skip the line and enter 45 minutes before the general public with your special access ticket. After going through a brief security check, proceed inside to begin your tour starting with the best galleries. Follow your art historian guide along the tour route which includes the Gallery of the Tapestries, the Gallery of the Candelabra, and the Gallery of the Maps.  Then, learn about the history and process Michelangelo used to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel before entering to see it yourself. Continue to the Vatican Gardens, where only special tour groups are allowed to visit. With your exclusive Vatican Gardens tickets, breathe in the tranquil air of this mini paradise. After your Vatican Gardens tour, enter Vatican City’s only train station to board the train to Castel Gandolfo. Once the site of Emperor Domitian’s Villa, the Barberini Gardens boast beautifully-designed hedges situated amidst flowers, fountains and Ancient Roman ruins. Your guide will tell you stories about the history of the gardens and the many points of interest located within. Once you’ve explored the lush scenery of the Barberini Gardens, the tour will break for lunch (included with the tour). Sit down to a sumptuous spread of locally-sourced, organic Italian meats, cheeses, olive oil, tomatoes, and pasta. Then, have the opportunity to take a self-guided tour of the Papal Palace of Castel Gandolfo, the Pope’s summer residence. Now a museum open to the public, enjoy exploring the Palace’s many rooms, art galleries, and collection of cars driven by former popes. Use your round-trip train ticket to return to Vatican City and conclude your memorable experience.

Vatican City: Vatican Museums and Castel Gandolfo w/ Lunch

4. Vatican City: Vatican Museums and Castel Gandolfo w/ Lunch

Start your day trip with an amazing early entrance visit to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel with a professional Guide. Take your time to enjoy Micheal Angelo's masterpieces before the crowds. Enjoy the privileged skip the line entrance and take most of it to visit all the parts of the Museums in peace. Wander the Vatican City Gardens which will make your way to a modern train that will take you to Pope's Summer Residence at Castel Gandolfo. Have a biological lunch at the Barberini Gardens. Let your guide lead you through the amazing Barberini Gardens and Pope's Summer residence recently opened to external visitors. Enjoy this day trip and take the train back to the St. Perter's train station in Rome.

Rome: Vatican & Lunch at Pope's Summer Residence Day Tour

5. Rome: Vatican & Lunch at Pope's Summer Residence Day Tour

Start your 9-hour program with a bus ride to Castel Gandolfo, a secluded and charming town that’s home to the pope’s summer residence. Explore the pope’s private Barberini Gardens by mini-bus and with the assistance of an audio guide. The Papal Palace was recently opened to the public by Pope Francis. You’ll see the treasures of this extravagant yet intimate interior, including works by Bernini. Enjoy a break for lunch and some free time to explore the town before heading back to Rome. In the afternoon, begin a 3-hour tour of Vatican City at the Vatican Museums. With your priority access you’ll skip the lines, allowing more time to discover the great works of art. Continue to the Sistine Chapel, where your guide will point out amazing art including Michelangelo’s The Last Judgement – the largest fresco ever painted by a single person. The last stop on this walking tour of Vatican City is St. Peter’s Basilica, which is the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture.

From Rome: Guided Tour of Vatican City & Pope's Residence

6. From Rome: Guided Tour of Vatican City & Pope's Residence

This is a unique chance to visit everything about the Vatican in 1 day and by avoiding the crowds. You will access the Vatican Museums before the public, at 7.45 am and you will have an exclusive tour of the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. Your guide will walk you then through the amazing Vatican Gardens and you'll discover the beauty of this unique place. Together with the guide, you'll reach the iconic Vatican City train station from where you will start your journey to Castel Gandolfo (approx. 45mins). At the station, you will have transportation waiting for you. In 10 minutes you'll reach the Pope's Gardens where lunch will be served. After lunch, you'll have a designated guide who will walk you, at a slow pace, through the Pope's Gardens. Afterward, you'll reach the Pope's Summer residence where you'll have the chance to discover so much about the history and aspects of Popes' lives that you didn't know before. At the end of the visit, you'll have a transfer to the train station where you will take the train that will bring you back to Rome. This tour includes a host, a guide and transportation in a way that you cannot miss anything and also you'll have assistance all day long.

Rome: Early Vatican Museums & Castel Gandolfo Tour

7. Rome: Early Vatican Museums & Castel Gandolfo Tour

Benefit from priority entrance at 8 AM, away from the daily crowds. You will visit Vatican Museums’ must sees such as Gallery of Candelabra, Gallery of Maps and Gallery of Tapestry and the Sistine Chapel with Michelangelo's paintings.. After your visit to Vatican Museums, you will be escorted by Vatican guard to the Vatican Station, where you will take the special train that connects Vatican City with Pope Summer Residence in Castel Gandolfo. You will enjoy a panoramic ride of the Roman Countryside and reach in about 30 minutes the charming village of Castel Gandolfo renown for the Pope's' residence and for the delicious local food served by local restaurants. You will visit the Baroque Barberini Gardens on an electric bus with your audio-guide and access also inside the Pope's Palace with beautiful rooms decorated with precios art-crafts and with the Popes Portraits representing many important Popes including the Pope Julius the II who commissioned the Sistine Chapel to Michelangelo. You will receive a flexible return ticket that will allow to spend some free time in Castel Gandolfo enjoying the local shops and food and the panoramic view over the Lake.

Rome: Vatican Day Tour With Skip-the-Line Tickets and Lunch

8. Rome: Vatican Day Tour With Skip-the-Line Tickets and Lunch

Whether it's your first or fifth visit to the Vatican, take the time to discover all there is to see on this full-day comprehensive tour of its museums, gardens, and grounds. You’ll begin early by meeting your guide outside the entrance to the Vatican Museums where you’ll skip the usually long lines outside to go straight in. This collection houses 26 distinct museums and 70,000 pieces of art. But we’ve taken the stress out of your day by ensuring you’ll be accompanied by an official Vatican guide who knows these museums inside-out and will be able to take you to the best of the best. Enjoy the exquisitely crafted sculptures in the Octagonal Courtyard, the magnificent Raphael Rooms, and the ornate Gallery of Tapestries. You'll also arrive at Michelangelo's masterpiece in the Sistine Chapel, fully prepared with tips from your guide on what to look out for. Next, you'll journey into the stately Vatican Gardens. Entry to this collection of landscaped gardens, forests, and medieval monuments is strictly for those on tours (like this one), so you’ll be sure of a slice of tranquility within the bustling city-state. After you’ve soaked in the fresh air, you’ll make your way to the Vatican Rail Station with your guide for a journey to make your Vatican experience complete. Opened as recently as 2015, you’ll step aboard the Pope’s train and set your sights on one of the most beautiful hill towns in all of Italy coming into view. Steeped in history, Castel Gandolfo is not only the summer residence of the Popes but close by is the birthplace of the legendary Romulus and Remus, founders of Rome. The gorgeous gardens of the Villa Barberini are where you’ll be treated to an inviting buffet lunch, made of traditional Italian dishes and fresh seasonal ingredients. Use your free time after lunch to explore the charming town further. We’d recommend visiting the Papal Palace for an audio tour (included) where you can roam inside the Pope’s apartments, which are vastly more extensive than even those of the Vatican! Afterward, be sure to wander towards the beautiful Lake Albano and take in the scenic hill views.

From Rome: Castel Gandolfo and Gardens Day Trip

9. From Rome: Castel Gandolfo and Gardens Day Trip

A private driver will pick you up in the morning from your accommodation and take you to Castel Gandolfo, which has been elected one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. You will then start the tour in the Papal Palace where you will be given an audio guide. The tour will start with the visit of the palace (open to the public only recently) and gardens, where the Popes have their vineyards, farms, olive trees. The visit to Barberini Gardens will take place on an eco-friendly convertible minibus, here you will admire french-style gardens, special kind of flowers, roman statues and fountains. At the end of the excursion our driver will drop you off back at your hotel.

Rome: Private Appian Way & Albano Lake Full-Day E-Bike Tour

10. Rome: Private Appian Way & Albano Lake Full-Day E-Bike Tour

Escape the hustle and bustle of central Rome for a full-day mountain bike tour in the surrounding countryside and follow a route through pristine nature and landscapes that have inspired some of Italy’s best known artists. The moderately difficult 50-kilometer route will take you past some of Rome’s most historic sites, such as Trajan's Baths, the Ninfeum of Egeria, Villa dei Quintilli and Caracalla’s Baths. Departing from near the Colosseum, bike through Caffarella Park to the Aqueduct Park, named after the historic aqueducts that run through this part of the Appian Way regional park. Because of its idyllic ambiance, Aqueduct Park is often used as a film location. Take the train from Capanelle to Castel Gandolfo, before hopping on your mountain bike to explore the surroundings of Lake Albano. Stop at a local restaurant with a wonderful view of the water and relax as you enjoy a traditional lunch of Italian cuisine. Lake Albano is also known as Castel Gandolfo Lake, after the castle and the Pope’s summer residence that overlooks the lake. After lunch, head back to Rome, cycling a nice descent to set you up for the Appia Antica. Relive the glory days of the Roman Empire as you bike along cobblestone streets that date back 2,300 years. Pass ancient tombs and ruins from the Roman Republic.

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What people are saying about Castel Gandolfo

Overall rating

5.0 / 5

based on 8 reviews

The lake is so beautiful for kayaking. Also ideal for a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. We were accompanied the whole time by our guides Andrea and Nicole. We could ask everything and were also given the necessary explanation about the origin of the lake. We got a bottle of water and at the stop we got a piece of pizza and we were allowed to swim. Highly recommended!

My first kayak experience. It was amazing. They offer many things not only a kayak ride.

It was wonderful, the people on the team treated me very well, I loved everything.

super cool, beautiful environment it's very relaxing, the guides are nice.

Had a great time on this tour was very relaxing and enjoyable